COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Ethiopia

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Ethiopia

Last Updated: 07/27/2021

Ethiopia is averaging around 89 new cases of COVID-19 a day as of July 16, down by more than half since June. At least 2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, enough to fully vaccinate around 1% of the population. The situation in Ethiopia remains unstable and dangerous because of the continued armed conflict in the Tigray region of the country. Combined with the pandemic, this conflict has caused extreme food shortages and loss of wages for many families. The humanitarian crisis in this country continues to worsen.

Child development centers are operating at different levels depending on the region and local guidelines. The majority are allowing children to return in small groups for activities and classes, and some have even been able to fully resume normal program activities. In some regions, centers remain closed for safety. Staff members continue to make home visits and phone calls to families. They are diligently checking on children and looking for signs of abuse and providing trauma counseling as needed. Partner church staff members have distributed over 1 million food packs and almost 645,500 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to nearly 60,000 individuals.

COVID response in Ethiopia

A Message From National Staff

How Is Compassion Currently Operating in Ethiopia?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Ethiopia, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Centers are operating at a variety of capacities depending on their region. Some centers remain closed to group programs, but staff members are making home visits and phone calls to children and caregivers. Other centers have been able to allow small group classes and activities. In some regions, centers have finally been able to resume normal program activities. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 1 million food packs and 645,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVIS response in Ethiopia

child reading IconStory From the Field

“I’m a product of a kind heart,” said Dr. Addisalem, a 27-year-old medical doctor who grew up attending the Metehara child development center as a sponsored child. The young woman is currently on the frontlines of Ethiopia's fight against COVID-19, working as a resident in one of the designated treatment centers. She has been attending training and preparing herself to help combat the pandemic that is wreaking havoc globally.

The confident medical professional grew up in a small town which didn't have a doctor. For a young girl living in poverty—the youngest of six children—dreaming of becoming a doctor one day seemed like pure fantasy. However, Addisalem had the support from her sponsor and the encouragement of Compassion center staff and her parents to push her on towards accomplishing her dream.

“I foster a kind and helping heart towards my patients because those were the virtues modeled to me while growing up. I’m sure we learn this from all the sponsors,” says Dr. Addisalem. “For my sponsor and for all the sponsors globally, I pray that the Lord will protect you. I am hopeful that this pandemic will subside soon, and things will go back to normal. We all need to be careful, but we also need to pray for mercy.”

How can I pray for Ethiopia?

Please pray for safety and comfort for those who are currently being impacted by violence and conflict in Ethiopia. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Ethiopia
Give to Compassion's Critical Program Needs Fund
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